News / Middle East

Syria Tops Agenda at UN Rights Council

Newly appointed UN-Arab League Envoy on Syria Kofi Annan waves to the media after shaking hand with France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, before the19th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations, in Geneva, February 27, 2012.
Newly appointed UN-Arab League Envoy on Syria Kofi Annan waves to the media after shaking hand with France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, before the19th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations, in Geneva, February 27, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein

The crisis in Syria is topping the agenda at the United Nations Human Rights Council, which began a month-long session Monday in Geneva. The session is expected to produce condemnation of the Syrian government's bombardment on civilians during its crackdown on dissent.

The president of the Human Rights Council, Laura Lasserre Dupuy, kicked off the proceedings by announcing that an urgent session focusing on Syria will take place on Tuesday. She speaks through an interpreter:

“In the light of the escalating grave human rights violations and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, I have had consultations with the extended bureau… on the practical details… in order to have a constructive debate on this topic,” said Dupuy.

Syria's ally Russia tried to get the debate postponed. But the Russian ambassador later said the meeting could go ahead, provided it takes place in a de-politicized manner and without written accounts.

Syria Tops Agenda at UN Rights Council
Syria Tops Agenda at UN Rights Council


Iran objected to the emergency session on Syria. But since Iran is an observer state in the rights council, its objection has no weight.

The president of the U.N. General Assembly said the government siege in Syria must end.

“Before arriving in Geneva, I visited a number of countries for deliberations with heads of state and governments, where the Syrian crisis was the highest concern discussed due to the flagrant violations against civilians. However, strong will and the necessary momentum are available to continue all efforts for saving lives and protecting Syrian civilians from the authorities’… oppression,” said Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser through an interpreter.

The U.S. ambassador to the rights council, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is being increasingly isolated. She said the international community, however, is continuing to struggle over how to further pressure Assad.

“The international community is struggling with this topic and I am not going to tell you we have a silver bullet here. I can say we are looking to the leadership of the Arab League as one vehicle and secondly, we are working very hard to convince the other members of the international community, who are choosing for whatever reason to continue to support the Assad regime that they are making the wrong choice,” she said.

Donahoe also said Russia and China, which vetoed resolutions at the U.N. Security Council aimed at tougher actions on Syria, do not have veto powers at this forum.

 

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid